In from Chicago for birthday - suggestions?
I'm coming home from Chicago in a few weeks and am being taken out for a birthday dinner. Alas, my gracious benefactors are a little less obsessive about food than I, and so have asked for recommendations around Santa Monica or the Beverly/Wilshire area, though we are willing to travel a little bit further if necessary. And there's a further catch: I'm a vegetarian, so no meat or fish (though eggs and dairy are fine). The place need not be a strictly vegetarian restaurant of couse, so long as it has options that aren't mere afterthoughts (i.e. a plate of grilled veggies). If it helps at all, I was thinking about Rustic Canyon as one possibility. Any and all recommendations are appreciated!
Right, actual details would probably help. Sorry! Anyway, I'm in my late 20s and (enough with the pretense) my parents their early 60s. So quieter is probably better. As for price range, $30-50 per person would more or less be where we top out - lower or a smidge higher is fine, so long as the food is good, of course. Regarding food preferences, Californian or "New American," Italian, or French would be preferred. Wine or alcohol is not especially important. I like wine just fine, but try to seek out the good stuff for home consumption. I hope this clarifies things, and thanks.
ahh, that helps. since you're coming from such a great foodie town, this is going to be a challenge :)
off the top of my head, places with solid food that won't break the bank:
chaya brasserie - strong asian accent, but with western & mediterranean influences
grace - contemporary american
josie - seasonal contemporary american, and a personal fave of mine - i'm sure they'll accomodate your vegetarian requests.
angelini osteria - some of the best italian in l.a. [but can be very loud & crowded]
pane e vino - solid italian, great atmosphere, less noisy/chaotic than angelini
taverna tony - very veggie friendly, and greeks always know how to celebrate! ;)
lilly's - french café, can definitely do veggies for you
rustic canyon - new american, gets lots of love in the boards
abode - new american, see rustic canyon
punch grill - new american, solid reviews
hopefully one of these will work for you, or i'm sure other l.a. hounds will weigh in with their own suggestions.
we also have excellent persian restaurants here if you'd consider it...they'll be within your price range, certainly vegetarian friendly, and probably something you don't get a lot of in chicago.
great recs... i'll just add...
jiraffe... love this place and great for all ages
palmeri... italian in brentwood
enoteca drago... bev hills good italian and wine
inn of the seventh ray... if you want to head out to topanga, and has good
lucques... solid food, a bit farther east
jar.... solid as well, farther east as well
la dolce vita... good for folks
madeo... also good for folks
as ghg says, if you'll consider ethnic, you could head over to fairfax for ethiopian at rahel
if you yourself are interested in grabbing chinese at some point in that area, try mao's chinese kitchen that has tons of meat subs for
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